on a clear day, when I chose a high vantage point, I can see Castille. We're in Paix and that is closer to Altamira than I have been in years. As you can imagine, I'm seriously tempted to try and see you. I will not risk coming to Altamira, but I might be able to arrange something. Let me think about this some more, I have no desire to risk your safety with a reckless plan.
Meanwhile, I promised to finish telling you what happened at the Black Lily club: after I did my best to treat Ramon's wounds, I returned to the others. The fight was already over, the Ussuran shapeshifter was unconscious and Lasombra had returned to looking like a normal cat. The judge had still not recovered from the shock of seeing the Ussuran change, so he was no trouble. Logan helped me get Ramon down from the attic into one of the rooms while de Chevalier spoke with Madame, who turned out to be willing to help us. The judge had blackmailed her and she has no love for him. She also sent for a doctor for Ramon, a midwife, as she officially has to call herself - but she knows her trade, better than many physicians I have seen. I took the chance to learn what I could.
Lucia was furious at me - I had seen the fear in her eyes when we were in the judge's dungeon, but I did not know that she actually believed I was in league with the judge. It seems I played me role a bit too well. I should be used to that reaction by now. I'm not. It is one thing for Logan to say that he does not know if he can believe anything I say, although I did not enjoy hearing it, but Lucia... I would have thought that I had earned more of her trust by now.
After all, I did not suddenly start to lie and cheat, I only did what we had planned and I did what I had to to save Lucia's life and mine. If I had been less convincing, I am sure the judge would have had us killed and probably not quickly. In the end, Lucia did admit that I could not have done anything else, but it continues to stand between us and things are only slowly returning to normal.
Concerning our plan, we did get enough information on both the judge and the doctor to help us and to fulfill our bargain with Robert. We also received a letter of introduction from Madame that will help us here in Paix. We spent another two weeks in Dechaine, brushing up on some skills, having clothes made and finding ourselves am entourage to fit our various ranks. Ramon recovered fairly well from his wounds, but the long journey to Paix still was not a very enjoyable time for him. I have never known him to be that cranky. He did get a lot of attention from various tavern maids wherever we stayed. That man certainly has a way with women, without even trying.
We are staying at The Labyrinth, a frankly gargantuan building that houses the hosts of diplomats that stay in Paix. The whole city revolves around it. De Chevalier is now openly wearing the title of Vicomte du Lac and Lucia has chosen to appear in Paix under her own name as well. I will remain the only commoner of the group (although Logan seems more than uncomfortable with the title he acquired a year or so ago), as a scholar I will have other options of getting to know people. And of course there are my more questionable talents. I have to admit, despite what happened between Lucia and myself, I am looking forward to playing this game again.
In any case, I wish I could just drop everything, cross the river and come see you and Alba. We will see what we can do about that.
Man, Lucia really ripped into Marcello and Logan joined in the fun. I loved every minute of this because it's something that I think has happened to Marcello quite a few times before and it's more than a sore spot for him. He really is an excellent liar and actor and he hasn't had much of a chance to employ these talents while he was traveling with the group. That is going to change in Paix and in Charouse.
In a play by mail, Marcello told Ramon why exactly he is on the run and Ramon offered to help him. Marcello said that he will take him up on that offer when the time has come. But being so close to Castille, Ramon would not be Ramon if he didn't think about how to make it possible for Marcello to see Isabel. And it's not like Marcello isn't tempted. When the GM mentioned that we were only a day's ride from the border, Ramon's player just grinned and I pretty much knew that we were going there, one way or another. Now I just need to write a bit about Isabel and Marcello's backstory so that the GM can plan things.